Water, pesticides and cost-effective kit purchases come under the scrutiny of expert speakers at this year's IoG Saltex exhibition, which starts today.
The seminar session at Windsor Racecourse, Berkshire, begins this morning with a rundown of best practice and standards in an amenity sector facing huge challenges from the Sustainable Use Directive and Water Framework Directive.
An open debate hosted by a panel of experts will look at the implications and possible pitfalls of these two monster directives.
The panel includes Paul Cowell, chair of the British Association of Landscape Industries, Society of Garden Designers’ vice chair Juliet Sargeant and Association of Professional Landscapers’ chair Mark Gregory.
Dreaded Japanese knotweed gets an airing this afternoon when JK International chief executive Phil Burgess and Stem Injection Systems’ joint managing director David Leyland look at new inroads into blitzing this persistent foe.
Last year 9,000 visitors descended on Saltex, and this year’s crowd will mingle with exhibitors of fine turf and sports surfaces, play surfacing, landscaping, contractors, arboriculture, commercial vehicles, outdoor leisure and software and security equipment.
The seminar programme, however, is one of the biggest draws. Wednesday’s talks start with safety consultant Jon Allbutt alerting visitors to the impact of new pesticide rules on sports turf managers.
"The new regulations are confusing and unclear on several very important issues," he warns. "It is now a statutory duty for users to complete a risk assessment before applying a pesticide, but will there be any pesticides available for them to use?"
Also on Wednesday is a talk from British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association on fighting winter kill.
Loch Lomond golf course manager David Cole will talk from bitter experience on the devastation this problem can cause and precautions you can take.
Castle Stuart golf course manager Stuart Haspell meanwhile will talk on building a links course, while Symbio manager Paul Lowe will look at organic matter and the differences between problematic thatch, beneficial organic matter, drainage and percolation rates.
IoG Saltex will round off its seminar programme with an in-depth look at how to get the best from machinery purchases before Horticulture Week technical editor Sally Drury leads a session on everything you need to know on the latest must-have bit of kit.